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Old 08-05-2015, 11:21 AM   #1
Mark D
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Default Alex Currie's pipes

I've been listening to a lot more of the old (or slightly old) Alex and Paddy Currie recordings, from Cape Breton. Trans-formative stuff -- I would do a lot of things to harness 10% of the rhythms they were able to pump out.

I was kind of surprised to find their pipes were "in A 440" (at least from what I could gather). Does anyone have any info. on their pipes? Was A440 more dominant than I realized?

Thanks, Mark
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:29 AM   #2
John Dally
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Default Re: Alex Currie's pipes

I suggest you send Barry Shears a PM. He knows more about piping in Cape Breton and Currie than all the rest put together. IIRC, though, Alec played a set of Lawries.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:02 PM   #3
Raibeart
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Default Re: Alex Currie's pipes

Just found this old thread. If anyone can answer, where might these Alex & Paddy Currie recordings be found? Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:11 PM   #4
Steve Bliven
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Default Re: Alex Currie's pipes

Same response as before probably applies. Check with Barry Shears. He still remembers more about Cape Breton piping than the rest put together.


Best wishes.


Steve
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:26 PM   #5
Tom MacKenzie
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Default Re: Alex Currie's pipes

Dance to the Piper comes with a CD "containing some of the earliest performances of recorded pipe music in Nova Scotia (1923), as well as examples of old style bagpipe performances from field recordings made and collected over the past 25 years". See this thread.


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Old 08-24-2019, 05:59 AM   #6
CalumII
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Default Re: Alex Currie's pipes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark D View Post
Was A440 more dominant than I realized?

Once again I find myself moved to point out that the A=440 standard has only been in place since the post 1945 era, and the question of what absolute pitch any historical instrument (or recording) was intended to be is a complex one.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:07 AM   #7
Steve Bliven
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Default Re: Alex Currie's pipes

As an interesting sidenote, the A=440 was formalized by the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I. See http://capionlarsen.com/history-pitch/ for a more thorough discussion of what A= over time.

A= on the Loud Highland Pipes is a whole 'nother story.


Best wishes.

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Old 08-24-2019, 06:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Alex Currie's pipes

Message sent and book ordered.....
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Old 08-24-2019, 03:34 PM   #9
CalumII
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Default Re: Alex Currie's pipes

That page seems a little bit confused about the sequence of events. In particular, there were various methods of generating and measuring the old low pitch, which was variably 435-439 depending on who you asked and how they measured it. The actual convention that A=440 was not established until 1939 and did not become confirmed by ISO until the 1950s.



The Versailles thing was, like the rest of that (treaty) Article about creating common standards and free trade (plus ša change, huh), and probably, if you dig into the details, conferred some sort of advantage on the part of the Allies for instrument makers.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Alex Currie's pipes

I've received Barry's book and I'm enjoying it! It did not come with a CD but I found the university website where it can be downloaded (on the honour system of promising you'd purchased the book).

Thanks!
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